Sunday, June 27, 2010


I always try to teach able-bodied people that disabled people's lives are able to be lived joyously. That we can participate in society and have value in the world. This able-bodied person I value (even though we have had at times major issues, I would be amazingly sad if he died, because I believe- and this took me awhile- that his heart's in the right place although his judgment is sometimes questionable to put it politely).

He and I were talking briefly when he came to pick up my PCA at the end of her shift, as he is her roommate. He says, "if I can't take care of myself I'm going to drop a lot of ecstasy and jump out an airplane with a parachute."

I said, "I'm not going to say anything, just sit here and be quietly alarmed."

He asked, "Why?"

I told him, "To do as you purpose says disabled people can't have successful lives. I hope you would overcome that." I felt truly offended but was trying not to act as such, because I didn't feel like fighting or having it be a big deal.

He said, "I'm not going to deal with being unable to do what I've been able to do for 30 plus years." I let that go, but I was alarmed.

If this person who lived in my house when he had no shelter thought my life was so unworthy that he would kill himself rather than endure it, perhaps I'm not as good at conveying my "all life is fine and worthy" message as I thought.

I know my friend didn't mean to cast aspersions at my life and proud affiliation with disability culture. However, it felt like that. Is this why it's so easy for able-bodied people to follow the logic of "Better died than defective!" Where had I failed to influence this person? What could have done differently. Just my thoughts!